Review: Medium Font (Stables Theatre, online)

Claire-Monique Martin performs in this one-person play, Medium Font, filmed at the Stables Theatre in Hastings.

Martin plays Lucy Verity, a clairvoyant, giving a talk to try and convince others of her gift. Written and directed by Ben Randall, this is a piece formed as a kind of TED Talk (or, as Verity opines, “a dead talk”).

The rather cluttered set – chair, table, cases, hats – is dominated by a large screen one which words and images are projected as the story unfolds. Oddly much of the props remain unused, which draws our eye to the staged seance at which no one is present.

The show is based around “faith” and what that means, about fake news and whether we can believe anyone and what they have to tell us. Martin’s performance is warm and persuasive, even when channeling Barry Manilow, the preferred music of choice from her spirit guide.

Screencap from Medium Font

However, the play itself feels as if it could use a few cuts in places, and development in others. An experience in France that Lucy Verity endured is brought to sparkling life in one moment; in another, the fourth wall is breached to reflect on the mass media.

The issue of clairvoyancy and its honesty was recently explored in the story of the real-life Fox sisters in musical The Fabulist Fox Sister, although in that show the character we saw was breezily dishonest, and proud of it. For Lucy Verity, her abilty to hear voices coincided with a mental breakdown following a family bereavement. It was her way of coping with trauma.

This is potentially a piece which could be expanded to delve more deeply into Verity’s motivations to believe she has spiritual gifts: has she says, “it is impossible to prove it”.

You can view Medium Font for free on the Stables Theatre website here, along with other productions made available in digital format by the theatre.

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